Though the power of SEO is well understood for getting traction on the web and bring in quality traffic, SEO for SharePoint is still in its primitive stage. If you wonder why SEO is required for SharePoint sites, you could have a quick read. Hardly webmasters focus on SEO when it comes to their SharePoint sites. Here are 6 SEO tips for SharePoint that will not only get you better rankings but also make you an authority with better SEO rankings.
#1 Focus on URLs Include Keywords
The default URLs that SharePoint creates are never SEO friendly. So, you should never let the URLs created by default. Include Keywords to make the address more meaningful. It is always advisable to go for keyword rich URLs instead of ID numbers or nodes that are created by default. Go to the configuration settings where you can change the URLs as required.
Which URL do you think the search engines prefer? obviously the second one right? yes, because that has lot of clue for the search engines to draw relevance. So, while developing a SharePoint site, you should ensure that the URL is structured and optimized with keywords.
#2. 301 Redirects or 302 Redirects?
When you have a website, redirecting your URLs are common. But, if you use it inappropriately that becomes an issue with SharePoint or any website for that matter. When it comes to redirection you have two types the 302 redirect which is temporary & the 301 redirect which is permanent and you should wisely choose one. Only the permanent redirects pass 90 100% of the page authority, whereas 302 redirect doesn’t pass any of the pages authority to the new redirected URL. Page authority not passing on entirely would mean a drop in search results, which we guess you will not be able to accept.
#3. Make meaningful Meta Titles and URLs rather than for Search Engines
When you create a page title in SharePoint, the same is applied to website’s META Title & URL. Though adding Keyword in URL & Meta Title is advisable for SEO, consider using it optimally. Stuffing Keywords for the sake of Search Engines will make it look meaningless sometimes. So have a balance between readability and optimization for Search Engines.
For example, buy Office 365 license might be your keyword, but a page targeting O365 sales could be named www.sharepoint.hubfly.com/buy-office365 rather than www.sharepoint.hubfly.com/buy-office365-license
This is just an example, but you get the idea, right?
Also, your META Title could be something interesting to read like the one below (rather than stuffing keywords for Search Engines)
Meta Title: Buy Office 365 | Hubfly
#4. Submitting your XML Sitemap
When the Search Engine bots crawl your website, sitemaps are the ones that help them understand your website structure and organization. Whenever you publish a new page to your website, it speeds up the indexation process. You could submit your XML sitemap files to various search engines. Below are the submission links for Google & Bing, the top search engines.
#5. Add Meta Robots
We have Meta Robots tags which should be added to a web page to help search engines how to index pages. Unfortunately, we don’t have an out of the box solution with SharePoint. So, we should manually add those tags. Also, you could instruct your robots.txt file to restrict indexing some pages in your site (for example, a paid download page etc.) which doesn’t makes sense ranking in search engines.
#6. Submit your site to Niche Directories
And finally, to get targeted traffic to your site, you could consider submitting your website to your niche specific directories. Search Engines will slowly find those links and index them thereby giving you backlinks which will be authoritative. If you really want to make it big, you could participate in the discussions and answer questions where your website link will be shown in your profile picture or signature for every answer / solution you provide.
Hope this article gave you some insights for SharePoint SEO. You might also be interested in 5 best SEO practices for SharePoint sites. Feel free to try and implement each of these tips for your SharePoint site, and we promise you will not regret. Share your comments in case you have more tips or any questions on these topics.